Photo by Eaton Blumenstein
Ain't no party like a P-Funk party — what else can you really say? George Clinton led his band through a nonstop party for an hour-and-a-half Thursday at Sound Board at MotorCity Casino. The set included mostly P-Funk classics, with some newer material from last year's Funkadelic album Shake the Gate
sprinkled in. Most of the crowd, myself admittedly included, was not familiar with the new songs, but they sounded great and got a strong reaction.
It's all a blur now, but the songs they moved through included "Flashlight," "(Not Just) Knee Deep," "Get Off Your Ass And Jam," "P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)," "Give Up the Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)," and "Atomic Dog." A drummer, bassist, keyboard player, and no less than three shredding guitar players held it down while other band members, singers, and MCs flowed on and off stage throughout the set.
Clinton, who turns 75 this year, spent some of the show sitting in a desk chair on wheels, which he rolled around on and occasionally used as a dance accessory. He looked and sounded great, and is currently in a renaissance period as detailed in my recent interview
with the Funk Master Number One. And if you haven't read his brilliant book Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard On You?
please get yourself a copy ASAP.
I had the pleasure of taking in the performance next to Ms. Fay Whitaker, who added many of her own vocal stylings. At the end of the night, Clinton dedicated the next song to mothers everywhere, wishing them an early happy mother's day, and the band tore into the Funkadelic classic "Cosmic Slop" (which features the refrain "I can hear my mother call, I can hear my mother call"). And then it was over. I didn't want the party to end, and can't wait until the mothership returns to Detroit for another performance.